With only three full practices under their belts both Matt Leinart and Thad Lewis are expected to work with a reduced package of plays when they face the Lions.
“Obviously we’re not going to be able to execute the whole plan,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “Right now we’re just working on a lot of the fundamentals and foundation things, especially going into this last game. That’s what we’re doing now making sure the foundation is in."
Both Leinart and Lewis have a measure of familiarity with some of the Bills’ offensive concepts just from their overall experience.
“The system is not hard,” said Lewis. “I’m pretty familiar with a little bit of the West Coast since I was in it in Cleveland. Just different terminologies. Once I learn their language I will be OK. You kind of want to get up to speed as quickly as possible.”
“I have some relationship with Nate Hackett, not professionally, but I’ve known him for a while,” said Leinart. “That makes it a little easier, just learning, and knowing what type of coach he is. For me, I’m just going to try to compete every day. I know I’m going to play Thursday night, so I’m excited about that opportunity.”
The Bills don’t game plan like they would for a normal game in the preseason, but there will be a reduced version of play calls for the Lions game.
“This one obviously as coaches we’re starting to prepare for the first two games of the season and doing all the checking,” said Marrone. “Then going into the last preseason game and just going in and playing with I don’t want to say a skeleton game plan, but a pretty tight game plan. Obviously it’ll have to be tighter with the new quarterbacks.”
When it comes to what is chosen for Leinart and Lewis to run a lot of it will be based on their personal preference.
“From what I see, they’re trying to keep it simple and fast, which I like,” said Leinart. “I think for this week, it’s just simplifying and running what I’m comfortable running. And then just really grinding on that the next couple of days, so I can go in Thursday and my head’s not spinning and I’m not trying to figure out which way is which. Just to go out there and play, that’s the goal.”
“You dive headfirst into it, and pretty much learn the basics,” said Lewis. “Then you let coach know what you’re comfortable running, and they’ll work with you. They don’t want to see you fail. They don’t want to see you look bad out there. They’ll work with you, tell them what you’re comfortable with and tell them what you’ve learned and think you can do the best. They’ll call those plays for you, and hopefully it will work out the best for you on the field.”